Fabio Quagliarella has admitted that Juventus boss Antonio Conte was right to use him so cautiously this season.
The former Napoli striker has scored in his last two games, but he’s only started six Serie A ties so far this term.
“He got to know me when I still wasn’t at my best because of my injury,” Quagliarella, who missed the first six months of 2011 with knee damage, told Mediaset in an interview.
“When I started to feel better I wanted to play, but the Coach, quite rightly, told me that I had to wait as I wasn’t ready.
“There were some tough times when the Coach had to lift me up by using the carrot and the stick.
“His training? Tuesdays and Wednesdays are scary. I’d never finished sessions before with cramp. But we follow Conte to the letter.”
Juve ended the last two campaigns in seventh place, but they are now leading Serie A by one point over Milan with seven games remaining.
“The Scudetto is the objective and we are obliged to think about that until the end of the season,” the 28-year-old added.
“Nobody thought that was possible a few months ago, but we all hoped. The season has been fantastic so far.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has fuelled the Rossoneri’s Scudetto bid, while Juventus’ campaign has been based more on the collective.
“Milan have some individuals who are frightening, whereas we have good players who have to count on the way we play as a team.
“The details are fundamental for us, whereas just one move from one of their [Milan] players can resolve the outcome of a game.”
A late resurgence in form for Quagliarella has seen him named as a possible candidate to represent Italy at Euro 2012.
“I’m hoping to return to the Italy side as that is one of my prime targets. I want to enter the thoughts of boss Cesare Prandelli, but it all depends on me.”